Sometimes we writers need to break free of other’s expectations to find our voice and our audience. This poem, Gulliver’s Release, expresses these longing:
Today I relish alone. Just me, curled up on the couch, wrapped in my cozy, white robe. Candles lit as I watch a little bird perch on the roof of a birdhouse outside the window. She dodges in and out of the hole to check out nesting possibilities.
Today I write because my soul longs to capture the moment. The compulsion to craft into words what I see and feel drives me to pick up a pen. The serenity surrounding begs to be recorded on journal pages.
Today I accept that I’m not an Ann Voskamp, selling books to thousands around the world. I’m just a writer returned to the page after a lengthy stay away because I fell hopelessly in love with painting.
Today I’m not sure of my writing purposes, once again, for the millionth time. My sister insists God saves all my words because they are precious to Him. Just like He saves my tears:
If I write for no other reason, if I write because I need to for me, then that must be purpose enough.
Even with all that said, the reality is we writers are a rare breed. We long for self-expression, and when we find our voice, we long for an audience. I know it sounds egotistical but it’s true. Ask any writer you know, and if they’re honest, they’ll admit it.
If we dare to share our words with the world, readers will come along in unexpected ways. I’m fascinated with the many countries my blog readers come from. I wonder how they found my posts. Sometimes I can see the path listed, like:
- Search Engines
- WordPress.com Reader
- A link from another website
But most of the time the mystery remains. An occasional comment lets me know someone besides the good Lord is listening.
Sometimes readers are watchers who view my visual poetry on YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok.
Sometimes readers are Facebook friends that click on a blog link I post. Sometimes readers are family who relish in a personal card that expresses my deepest appreciation for them.
Unfortunately, we writers need an audience for motivation like a dancer needs a partner to waltz across the floor.
Writers need readers like the heart needs arteries and veins to release and return blood flow that keeps the body alive.
If a writer doesn’t have an outlet, even if its journal pages shared with a trusted few, they get all stoved up, frustrated, out of sorts. They can even get angry or sullen or depressed. Trust me, I know.
When I self-published my book, Refrain from the Identical: Insights and Inspiration for Creative Eclectics, I experienced the satisfaction of people relating to my words, experiences, and insights. People benefiting from my encouragement to accept their multi-faceted selves warmed my heart and made me smile:
“This book is so freeing for those of us who need to be encouraged in the busyness of life to let our creativity soar!” – Donna Mast
“I cried while reading your manuscript. For the first time in my life, I knew there wasn’t anything wrong with me. I may be scattered and love doing different kinds of art, but now I know that I’m ok. I’m a ‘Creative Eclectic!’” – Carrie Fisher
So, if you’re a writer, accept the fact that you, too, need an audience. I encourage you to break free, like Gulliver, from other’s expectations and pursue ways to share your thoughts with the world. You’ll discover the satisfaction will outweigh the fear. Finding your audience is liberating for the soul.